Casiraghi: Amauri can end Chelsea challenge

Former Chelsea striker Pierluigi Casiraghi has warned the Blues ahead of their Champions League clash with Juventus that, in Brazilian striker Amauri, the Turin club can currently boast one of the most potent weapons in world football. The 28-year-old front-man joined Juve in the summer for €15.3 million having established himself at fellow Italian outfits Chievo and Palermo, scoring 23 league goals in 52 outings for the latter. And after already hitting double-figures for his new side this season, including a stunning strike to help defeat Real Madrid,  Italy U21 boss Casiraghi – who made 10 league appearances for the Blues before seeing his career cut short by a cruciate ligament injury – says both he and strike partner Alessandro Del Piero are a force to be reckoned with. “Amauri is a fantastic player and is one of the best headers in the world at the moment,” he says in the March issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out now. “Chelsea might have better players, but Juventus are very hard to beat, and in Amauri they have a star.” And if Amauri’s pace, power and aerial threat isn’t enough for Guus Hiddink’s Blues to deal with, Claudio Ranieri – returning to Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving his manager’s post in 2004  - has 34-year-old captain Del Piero in the form of his life. Last season’s Serie A golden boot winner with 21 league goals, the veteran has another 11 to his name this season in all competitions, six of them from free-kicks. “Ale is a great player and a privilege to play alongside,” Amauri tells FourFourTwo. “But I’ve been working hard since I came here and now I’m seeing the benefits. I am enjoying life in Turin and I really want to win some trophies with this club.” The March issue of FourFourTwo magazine, featuring Champions League dangermen Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Inter, Mirko Vucinic of Roma and Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain, is available now.

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